When I first came to St. George's I was a shy and introverted kid. I had told myself that, because of my past experiences, I could only really put trust in myself. But that would soon change after I came too St. George's.
I wasn't the type of kid who really knew how to make friends. This, however, was not a problem at St. George's. Before I had time to get my bearings in my new home I was practically swarmed by the most caring and loving people who were eager to make me their friend.
When I look back on that moment now I am not surprised at how welcoming all of my new friends were. You see this is just the nature of St. George's.
When I first got here I never really understood all the hype about the whole "St. George's community" thing. I always thought it was just another one of those buzz words that schools throw around in order to make themselves look good.
But now that me and my friends are looking at the colleges that we will call home for the next four years of our lives I truly understand what a unique thing we have here at St.George's.
One thing you will learn about friendships at St.George's is that these relationships are far from ordinary. People I thought I had nothing in common with have become people I can't think about not being in my life.
St. George's is a relatively small school. So if you can't get along with someone you don't have the option to just ignore them. You have to face your problems head on. This may seem like a recipe for disaster, but it has instead created a very accepting environment at St. George's. If this idea kind of sounds familiar it may be because I basically just described the ideal family. Like a family we may fight with each other, but we always face our problems together.
Friendships truly are unorthodox at St. George's. I don't know of any school where students could call some of their teacher their best friends. But that is exactly what you see at St. George's. Teachers here have a unrivaled gift of being able to maintain their professionalism while somehow finding a way to get to know their students on a personal level.
I can safely say that for my friends and I Mr.Sullivan has become a true role model, coach, and most of all a dear friend. While being in his study hall with two of my fellow delinquent friends we took advantage of every opportunity to annoy him. For some reason Mr. Sullivan put up with us rowdy sophomores and I guess on some level we respected that.
Mr.Sullivan has changed the lives of so many may students at this school. He has impacted us all not only as a coach and a teacher, but also as someone who you can alway talk to when you need advice.
On a side note I want to talk to Mr. Sullivan directly:
Sully, thank you for all that you have done for me during my time at St. George's. When you met me I was just another annoying sophomore. Now I am an annoying senior, but I still have you to pull my butt out of trouble when I do something dumb.
I will miss you friend,
One of the benefits about going to a relatively small school like St. George's is that on top of knowing everyone in your own grade you also have the ability to make connections with other classes. I have had the privilege of becoming good friends with many of the people in the junior class.
These friendships allow us to be able to have a truly shared school experience. I remember how the senior class that came before us were able to really make their mark on our school by forging long lasting friendships that helped my grade step up to our new role as the school's leaders. I can only hope that my grade has been able to create the same sort of friendships.
For me personally I know that I would truly be nothing without several friends who have helped guide me through my days at St. George's. Time after time my friends have picked me up when I was down and at my wits end. There are too many times to name them all so I will just give one example.
When I was a sophomore I felt pretty alone. I had somehow convinced myself that I was just not as good at the things my peers were proficient at. I wasn't very athletic and I did not consider myself to be nearly as intelligent as any of the people around me. Of course this was not how my friends saw me, but I have a stubborn mind.
One night one of my best friends invited me to come with him to his youth group called younglife. I was hesitant at first, but he eventually convinced me to go. What I discovered that night was a group of people who used their faith to go out into the world to help lift others up.
Over the years I would become deeply involved with younglife. It is no exaggeration to say that this has shaped me into the person I am today.
I have never really said thank you to that friend for what he did for me, but I know deep down he knew exactly what he was doing for me the night the asked me to go with him.
Thanks to younglife I have gotten to make so many new great friends. Connor Cowan is one of my leaders and thanks to him i am happy to say that I now have a person to use as a model for how live my life as I enter college. Connor always finds away to make sure everything he does in life is rooted in a higher meaning. At the same time he is always humble and is a great person to go to if you just need someone to talk with you about your problems. I am truly blessed to have the gift of his leadership, his positivity, and his friendship.
When I asked Ann Wallace to describe her personality in one word she said wacky would be a fitting description. Ann Wallace certainly has a vibrant charisma. When thinking of people I might might want to use as an example for what it really means to be a true friend she was the first person who came to mind. She is the type of friend who is always there to offer words of encouragement or do something silly to cheer you up when you are feeling down. She also has the type of energy that can light up the dreariest of rooms.
In the interview below Ann Wallace will describe some of the St. George's values that make our school so unique.